Campaign for Sonairte Eco-Centre

I created this series of videos to promote the ecology centre Sonairte. The centre is located less than a mile from the seaside, close to where I grew up in Laytown, Co Meath. Founded in the 1980’s, it was set up to promote hands on learning about the environment, and to exhibit alternative energy, a radical idea at the time. It’s a remarkably tranquil place, where visitors can walk a nature trail or learn sustainable growing techniques in a seizable Victorian market garden.

I shot these videos over two days at the centre, and developed the campaign around promoting the distinct experiences available, from Yoga classes to delicious organic fruit and veg. I may have stolen a few apples, hanging from the heavily laden branches of Sonairte’s twenty-seven distinct species of apple tree.

Sonairte are actively seeking volunteers, especially people with experience in organic horticulture or fundraising at state and European level. You can contact them by phone on 041 982 7572 or by email at hello@sonairte.ie.

Production Details

Everything was shot on the Panasonic G80, with a Sigma 18 – 35 Art lens. Most shots were captured on the Crane 2 gimbal. Editing and grading was done in Da-Vinci Resolve, and titling in Final Cut Pro. 

All music is by Alexander Kyd, donated with kind permission, from his records 51 Pegasi and These Waters Remember, which are available to purchase on bandcamp.

Advertisements

Wicklow Sudbury Promotional Videos

Wicklow Sudbury School is an experiment in Irish education. The first  curriculum ‘free school’ in the country. A school where students spend all day long, pursuing their real interests. The Sudbury Valley model, pioneered in Massachusetts in the late 1960s, puts children in charge of directing their own education. A few years ago I organised some events along these lines in Dublin. Learning and teaching as self directed fun. Those experiences, and my time volunteering at Exchange Dublin – the democratically organised art space in Temple Bar forcibly shut down by Dublin City Council in 2014 – have shown me the power of learning as play. The  importance of genuine ‘third spaces’, where people can explore through play to offer the kind of deep personal enrichment that bureaucratic curricula and educational measures cannot hope to define, let alone measure. These spaces are so rare in our contemporary societies, where every inch is commodified and defined, every intervention tailored, every creative work moulded and marketed to a constructed audience, that they can seem fantastical. They are spaces that literally remind us what it means to be human. Connection, creativity, love in action.

Last year I made a radio documentary, following a year in the life of the school – exploring in a small way the opportunities for more libertine forms of education in Ireland in general. This year, as I moved out of radio and into video production, I offered to head back to the school, to help with their crowd funding campaign. I spent a day at Wicklow Sudbury, shooting interviews and capturing the decidedly unconventional educational environment. I combined short interviews with three staff and five students with footage of the learning through play that makes this place unique. The end results are a ten minute mini-documentary and a two minute promotional video. Unlike the documentary this campaign is decidedly partisan. I’ve worked as hard as I can to convey the enthusiasm of staff and students for this new kind of education. 

Hopefully these videos capture a little about what makes this school so different. This really is a place where kids can be themselves. A place to develop the kind of diverse talents that our rigid bureaucratic education system cannot accept, let alone promote. These kids are passionate, creative, and above all independently minded. They give me hope for a future less rigid, heartless and polarised than the present. This is the kind of place that any misunderstood, creative kid might have imagined into existence. It’s the sort of place that makes having kids worth considering. It’s that revolutionary. If you’re interested in learning more, Wicklow Sudbury staff frequently offer talks about setting up your own community school, and you can find information about these, and if you’d like donate towards the school (which naturally receives no government funding), at their website

Pardon Me – Shy Mascot (Music Video)

There’s a long tradition of puppet music videos, from Gabriel Byrne’s cameo in the Rubber Bandits’ ‘Fellas’, to Ed Sheeran’s muppet of muppet. But as far as we know this is the first time someone’s remade ‘Smack My Bitch’ up with marionettes. Inspired by the tough guy lyrics of Shy Mascot’s new track ‘Pardon Me’, we imaged a puppet on an odyssey through Dublin, leaving a trail of mayhem and broken hearts behind him. An off the wall idea turned into six months of preproduction, as special effects guru Frances Galligan created uncanny wood and plaster replicas of Shy Mascot’s Jamel Franklin and Fia Gregg. We shot these diminutive rebels everywhere from sex shops to jewellery stores, Dublin buses to cat sanctuaries.
A tiny crew headed up by writer / director Gareth Stack and DOP Siobhan Madden combined storyboarded action sequences with improvised guerrilla shooting. Whenever a location lent itself to leprechaun scale hijinks we found a way to take advantage. Volunteer performers mixed with season pros to seduce and battle lil’ Jamel’s bad ass homunculus. Probably the most ambitious scene features a bloody dustup between Dublin based performance poet Raven (playing a cassocked street preacher) and Jamel’s balsa wood hard nut. We shot in the crumbling remains of O’Devaney gardens while dozens of local kids milled around and cars pulled donuts between abandoned tower blocks. We fought everything from tangled strings to reluctant sex shop proprietors to get this video made. Our action packed finale even had to be reshot when a memory cannibalised itself This happened after we’d snapped off one of lil’ Jamel’s feet and broken his back flinging him through the air first time around! Fortunately, after a short operation this little legend soldiered on.
Our favourite scene features a date between marionette Jamel and our moonlighting DOP Siobhan, shot in Dublin’s only barcade ‘Token’. To sex up this smokey seduction, we used the golden-age Hollywood technique of stretching cotton stockings over the lens for a poor mans glamour filter. All in all, the shoot took nine days, and the edit another three weeks. But the memories – bench pressing Ireland’s largest sex aid, laying half naked on the floor of the Glimmerman’s ladies while a marionette vomited, fighting allergies to give a puppet a chance to visit a cat sanctuary were absolutely worth it!
37754707_10155629809191592_8763316627828637696_n
37802821_10155629799566592_7048506941550624768_n (1)
38289240_10155654937826592_217207890706956288_n

Ray Brown – Summer of Hate (Music Video)

Two years back I was visiting New York, and didn’t have anywhere to stay. I put “friends who live in New York City” into facebook, and messaged everyone who came up, asking for a couch. Ray Brown, a guy who I’d met for thirty minutes at a yard party years before, said he couldn’t put me up but offered to take me out on the town. That night we visited the legendary Sidewalk cafe, the East Village anti-folk bar where Ray has been a regular for over thirty years. Ray introduced me to a cute girl and I fell head over heels in love.

Ever since, Ray and I have been friends, and on his most recent trip to Ireland (where I live) to record a record, I did some shooting in the studio, thinking to one day make a documentary about his extraordinary life. Only afterwards, with the album already in pre-production did it occur to me that this footage might make a cool music video. So I’ve been hacking away at this for the past week or so. It’s shot on my humble Panasonic G85, with the Sigma 18 – 35, just in whatever light we had in Alfionn studio – a tiny independent space in Dublin; and graded in DaVinci with Red Giant Universe.

Recorded at Alfionn Studios, May / June / August 2018.

Performing – Ray Brown, Myles Manley, Nick Boon, Chris Barry, Brandon Perdomo, and Ali Byrne.

Producer – Chris Barry.

Relate (Short Film)

It’s the eve of the Irish abortion referendum, and Ella returns home to vote. She’s staying with her brother Ger, whom she hasn’t seen for years since their parents break up. Things don’t go easy when Ella discovers Ger is planning to vote a different way.

Starring Nicole O’Connor and Adam Tyrell.
Written by Gareth Stack & James Van De Waal.
Directed by Gareth Stack.
Assistant Director Patrick O’Brien.
Music by Elga Fox.

Wedding Videography Special Deal

I’m offering a special deal for couples getting married in Summer and Autumn 2018. As a videographer primarily specialising in filmmaking, commercial and visual-arts shoots, I’m  making the leap into covering more weddings. I’m mindful that there are many couples who may unsure about whether to add videography to their wedding plans. The cost can seem prohibitive, and there are lots of untrained and unqualified ‘videographers’ at the low end of the market. With that in mind, I’m happy to be able to offer a one time only low-cost wedding deal for couples getting married Summer and Autumn 2018. These two packages represent a great deal on professional cinematic videography for your wedding, at an unbeatable price. They feature high quality videography from a postgraduate trained filmmaker specialising in characterful, artistic shooting. I’d love to work with you to get the cinematic look and feel you’d like for your special day. You can see some highlights of my artistic work here, or get an overview of my commercial work here. To book, or have any questions you need answered, you can get in touch here.

Full Wedding Package – € 1000

• Two shooters
• Pre-wedding Consultation (Skype or phone)
• Bride & Groom Prep
• Family Moments / First Look
• Full Ceremony
• First Dance
• Reception Speeches & Highlights
• Beautiful titles and colour grade included as standard.
• Stablised Gimble (for more cinematic shots)

Final Videos (all in 1080p HD)
• 2 – 3 minute Trailer
• 8 – 10 minute Cinematic Film
• 20 – 30 minute Documentary

Extra Special Add-ons (optional)

• 3 * 1 minute videos, resized & optimised for social media – € 300
• Guest Messages Video – € 300
• Custom DVD with menus & full colour cover * 2 copies – € 400
• All Raw Footage on USB key – € 150
• Drone Rental & Operator – € 350
• Filming till midnight (one shooter will stay till midnight) – € 300
• Express Delivery of Wedding Footage (within two weeks) – € 200
• All videos shot and edited in 4K – € 500
• Custom Website to host your video & photos – € 650
• Vintage look – add Super 8, Super 16 or VHS look to your film – € 500

Terms and Conditions

All videos are provided as a high resolution digital download.

Food must be provided for videographers on the day.

Excludes cost of transport to and from the venue, and accommodation if required (e.g.: if filming till midnight option is purchased). This will be agreed with you before the booking has been accepted.

Finished videos are delivered within one month of the big day.

Non-refundable 30% deposit required for all bookings.

Drone Operator subject to availability.

Website option includes domain name, but excludes on-going hosting, which can vary between € 10 – 30 per month for the lifetime of the site.

All prices are inclusive of VAT.

Other Terms and Conditions as per our Client Agreement.